Summary: With the firearms industry under attack now more than ever, including efforts aimed at holding manufacturers responsible for crimes committed with their products, it’s no stretch of the imagination to expect FFLs who sell guns legally that are later used in a crime to be targeted in the future. This bill would prevent such unfair treatment.
A new bill to help further protect federal firearms licensees is beginning to make its way through the House and the Senate.
On May 14, 2021, HR 3252 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA). As of late July, there are nine cosponsors – six Republicans and three Democrats.
On the Senate side, S 2449 was introduced on July 22, 2021 by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). As of late July, there are 20 cosponsors – all Republicans.
What is the FFL Protection Act?
The main goal of both bills is to “amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to enhance penalties for certain thefts of a firearm from certain Federal firearms licensees,” with the House bill adding “criminaliz[ing] the theft of a firearm from a gun range that rents firearms or a shooting club.”
With the firearms industry under attack now more than ever, including efforts aimed at holding manufacturers responsible for crimes committed with their products, it’s no stretch of the imagination to expect FFLs who sell guns legally that are later used in a crime to be targeted in the future. This bill would prevent such unfair treatment.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) released a statement applauding this new legislation. “Criminals targeting firearm retailers to steal guns are on notice. Congress will not tolerate criminals who victimize these lawful businesses to further prey upon and threaten communities,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “We thank Senator Graham and the 20 senators who joined to bring this much-needed legislation that tells criminals that Congress and the firearm industry will hold those committing crime responsible for their reprehensible actions.”
This is not to say that there have been no previous attempts by the government or the arms industry to help protect FFLs in a variety of ways. This just takes it a step further.
Using Available Resources
NSSF has already taken an active role in helping FFLs fight back against robberies and burglaries at their places of business by partnering with the ATF on Operation Secure Store. With this, NSSF matches ATF reward offers for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of criminals responsible and recovery of the stolen firearms.
The strongest resource for any and all FFLs right now is the NSSF. They help educate retailers on steps they can take to reduce the chance of theft, conduct retailer store security seminars, assist retailers with store security audits of their premises, and endorse and promote the use of security products like smash resistant display cases.
What Does the Future Hold?
Only time will tell the fate of these bills in the House and the Senate. Right now, the best thing you can do is contact your legislators and urge them to support the bills in their respective chambers. The firearms industry’s constituents are some of the most proactive in the country, and making it known that you support this legislation to protect FFLs is the best way to help right now.